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What makes the Perfect Post?

We all know that social media success comes from engagement and content. And that varied statistics guide us into developing what we consider a good Facebook post that will result in wide reach, immediate engagement, and hopefully a future sale… but is there such a thing as the Perfect Facebook Post?

The argument is a good one. In my opinion, every business is different with a different audience. A Facebook message is asking something unique from that audience to show that their message was effective – so how can you judge the perfect post based on all these variables? OR if you follow all of the advice and research you can read without going crazy, you could actually create the perfect post.

The guys at SocialMouths think they have the answer for the perfect post and created a really awesome infographic  based on research from TrackMaven that analyzed 1.5 million posts across 6,000 pages. Here is the answer to our dreams…

Word Count
The results show that posts with 80-89 words get double the engagement that those with 70-79 words. However, don’t be afraid to share what you need to with your audience, regardless of word count.

Visual Content
According to analysis, posts with photos get an average of 2.35 interactions per post versus text-only posts. Of course you need to consider that 88% of Facebook posts do have an image.

After Hours
Posting after hours (5pm – 1am EST) can get you 11% more interactions than those published during work hours. Makes sense, since most people are trolling the web outside of work and daily activities.

Weekends
Posts published on Sunday can get 25% more likes, comments and shares than those published on Wednesday, yet only 18% of the total posts are published on weekends.

Hashtags
Posts with hashtags see an average of 60% more interactions. #NowIKnow

Questions
Of course you would expect a question to increase engagement (by about 23%). That does not mean every post should be a question or poll. When you’re writing on a topic, you can use a question to generate engagement and expand the conversation.

Infographic
Because image and content are king!

The perfect Facebook post

Give Your Next Post a Visual Boost

social_networkingWhile we could debate on whether or not a picture is really worth a thousand words, when it comes to social media, a picture CAN give your post a visual boost resulting in more likes, shares and reach.

All the latest studies and statistics suggest that images on social media commend more attention than text alone… so multimedia becomes a key element in successful online communication.

How many ways can you make a photo or video part of your next post? Let’s think about it.

The Product Shot
Every business and brand has a product to display, so don’t just talk about the benefits and features – show it off in pictures. The more, the better.

The Team Picture
Take pictures of your colleagues on a regular basis – at work, with clients, at a trade show, on the next ad campaign shoot –  and share them with your audience. It humanizes your business/brand behind a real face and something your audience can relate with.  People like to do business with people, so the more they feel like they’re part of your business, the stronger the connection to your brand.

The Spotlight on Your Fans
Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame – why not give it to them! By highlighting fans and followers, it shows you care about them being part of your brand and ambassadors for it. Give them a bigger stage, Retweet them, Tag them, Make it all about them – you’ll get more loyalty in return.

The Peek Behind the Scenes
Provide your audiences with the occasional exclusive experience, something they can’t get anywhere else, like a big reveal or look into what goes on behind closed door meetings (this would work for B2B audiences too). Take them backstage or show them how your products are built.

The Action Shot
While a team picture may be posed, your action shots are of you and your fellow team members actually doing what you do best. It doesn’t matter where you are – speaking at podium, swinging a bat, or in front of the computer – capture your people in the act of doing their jobs.

The Graphic
Creating your own visuals from scratch is a unique way to add variety and call more attention to your posts. Use PowerPoint, Photoshop PicMonkey and other tools to add special effects and text to the image you share. Or, if you have real data to share – make your own infographic!

The Spontaneous Shot
Capitalize on social media’s ability to connect with customers in real time. Share impromptu, candid shots of you and your team in the  moment. What’s happening now is far more credible and commanding on social media than old news.

The Collage
Twitter’s new mobile feature let you upload four photos in a single tweet or you can always rely on the aforementioned photo tools to edit your pics into a collage for sharing.

The Selfie
Of course, the Hollywood favorite, because we can’t get enough of ourselves doing what we do, the Selfie.

The Moving Picture
Yeah, remember when I mentioned multimedia – that means VIDEO  too! Right before you snap that group shot or selfie, take some video or just make a video to answer your customers FAQ. Not every video will be a viral hit, but if it educates and/or entertains your customers then you have something worth sharing.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, snap away and give your next posts some extra boost.

PR Trends to Adapt Today

1254520_teamwork__1The Public Relations atmosphere is constantly changing due to the Internet and businesses demanding results. To communicate effectively, we need to share brand messages to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships build on trust and understanding. Success in today’s challenging field is communicating your message across multiple platforms, and these trends are gaining momentum. In order to stay relevant, we as professionals need to adapt and use these methods in our communications programs.

From PR News, here are five trends for 2014.

  1. Continued Push for ROI
    In order to justify today’s public relations campaigns, you need to get over the fear of relying on data and numbers to judge results. Technology is growing closer to accurately measuring the impact of PR, providing tools for gauging customer engagement, brand sentiment and actions directly attributed to income revenue. This data provides insight to adjusting your message and optimizing campaigns.
  2. Erasing Traditional Boundaries
    PR teams need to embrace and collaborate with complementary departments, such as marketing and sales, but also social consumers who are helping to shape opinions and brands. Social media, content marketing and SEO have evolved with traditional departments into one cohesive marketing strategy. Connecting with online fans can create some of your most effective spokespersons.
  3. Advanced Brand Journalism
    Traditional media is undergoing massive decline, leaving PR departments searching for more sustainable ways to disseminate their messages across audiences. Some businesses are expanding brand journalism capabilities by contracting freelancers or seasoned journalists and publishers in-house to enhance their ability to develop winning content strategies. At the same time, PR practitioners need to recognize social media and digital publishing are new preferred outlets for accessing news – and strategically deliver content to their audiences through them.
  4. Renewed Emphasis on Trust
    Building trust with the public is a fundamental element of every effective PR campaign. And because the Internet allows every opinion a voice, it’s even more important to send a message that instills confidence and trust. Position your brand as a leader in dealing with emerging digital threats by relating in real terms the progressive actions being taken to harbor a secure online environment.
  5. The Social Mission
    The success of philanthropic businesses  – those dedicated to supporting important human and environmental changes instead of investors – gives every business a new reason to have a philanthropic mission statement. The concept of tying a brand to a social cause that resonates with your core consumers is age old, and publicly taking action can be a powerful tool for winning over socially conscious consumers to build trust and deeper emotional connections.

While PR tactics are changing, its core purpose and objectives remain the same. PR professionals that adapt to these digital changes and use them effectively to achieve (and show) results will have greater relevance for years to come.

Timeless Content Marketing Lessons

A very interesting blog caught my attention in which a little history turned into some timeless lessons we could learn from none other than Mr. Benjamin Franklin – one of the best marketers of his time. Not only did he have access to a printing press to share his ideas and educate early America, but he inspired revolution and stamped his brand in history.

Earliest known content marketing examples are August Oetker’s cookbooks that were content marketing for his Backin baking powder (1891) or John Deere’s magazine The Furrow which served as content marketing for the company’s farm equipment (1895). BUT Mr. Franklin began publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1732 (nearly 159 years earlier) and continued to  publish for 25 years, each time harnessing the power of print and influence of words.

So, what are these lessons?
First, Franklin’s focus was on creating the best content possible. If you publish just anything today, it blends into the sphere of endless information. However, if you create content that has personality, resonates with people and is entertaining… then you have their Attention and Interest.

Listen to Benjamin Franklin’s own explanation of the type of content he was determined to use:

In 1732 I first published my Almanack under the name of Richard Saunders; it was continued by me about twenty-five years, and commonly called Poor Richard’s Almanack. I endeavoured to make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I reaped considerable profit from it, vending annually near ten thousand.
(from article)

It wasn’t to self promote – it was to create entertaining and useful information.

Leading to the second lesson: produce content that our customers crave and value – especially if it isn’t focused on your business. Directly tied to generating GREAT content is generating DESIRED content.

The most powerful kind of content for you to create might actually be content that doesn’t focus on your business or industry at all. While he didn’t invent the concept of an almanac, he knew by popularity that his audience craved this type of content (best sellers second only to the Bible).

Discover the types of content your prospects and customers crave, and create it for them.

Third, Become an information connoisseur for your audience. Not only did Franklin include his own voice in the booklet, but he added the most basic elements of an almanac: calendar, weather info, poems and astrological info.

Even if you are recycling content or addressing the same topics of your competitor, you need to incorporate your Brand Voice.

Finally, don’t forget the power of serialization. One of the things that made Poor Richard’s Almanac valuable was it contained “news stories,” meaning that readers had to keep purchasing a new version to see what happened to the main news characters.

Even modern novelists and television show writers know that people love suspense and teasers. When you create content over a series of articles or blog posts and use teasers or cliff hangers at the end, your readers are compelled to find out more. It builds momentum as the story unfolds across article or posts.

It’s important we stay current with trends and tools that help reach our diverse audiences as technology advances, but don’t lose touch with the valued marketing lessons unchanged by time and across media.

What do you consider timeless marketing lessons?

Creating B2B Viral Video Success

How do you demonstrate a machine’s agility? Why playing a giant game of Jenga(R) of course… or so Caterpillar thought anyways and it has turned into a huge viral video success. While the details of most B2B ad messages are technical and not very innovative, Caterpillar shows us that any business can have a little fun in their marketing.

Wouldn’t it be fun to try this?!

And there’s a behind the scenes video bonus in this AdAge article.

 

Quick Tip for SEO Video

digital-video-1164918-mAbsolutely had to share this quick tip for publishing your next content marketing video to YouTube. Not only does video add a completely new and exciting element to your marketing mix but it can also have multiple purposes.

From Social Media Impact, the first way to ensure your video is optimized (and the most obvious) is to edit the Title, Description and Tags sections with keywords related to your video content. If you do some research in advance, you can use the most popular related terms to maximize your SEO results.

Another good idea is to create and add your videos to Playlists so similar videos can be viewed in a continuous stream.

Finally, and most easily to look over, is adding captions to your video. By adding captions to your upload, it increases the SEO influence by having a transcription in the file upload that is “crawlable.”

The article includes detailed instructions for editing video captions but here’s a brief overview.

  1. In edit mode, click the Captions tab and then Add a new track.
  2. Type what’s spoken in the video. Pause as you move along to accurately align the typed text with the video.
  3. Disable the automatic captions (This really does not accurately transcribe video, I wouldn’t trust it).
  4. Review your upload transcript and make necessary changes.

Now, you’re ready to upload great new content!

Top LinkedIn Marketing Groups to Join NOW

Hubspot shares a lot of great info on the latest digital marketing trends. This recent article recommends 20 LinkedIn groups to join if you want to stay on top of content from the best and brightest industry experts. I’m only going to detail a few of these groups here but if you want the full list, check it out.

(Note: Some of these group are public, meaning any LinkedIn member is free to join, while other are private, meaning you can click to join them but will have to be approved by the group’s owner or moderator.)

Digital Marketing
427,420 members. As one of the largest groups on LinkedIn, this community is full of inspiration, intriguing discussions and detailed tips and best practices for improving your online marketing and more.

eMarketing Association Network
552,753 members. Managed by the eMarketing Association, the group serves anyone interested in marketing as it focuses on social media, email, search, mobile and general inbound marketing.

B2B Marketing
36,184 members. If you focus primarily on communicating with B2B companies, then you must join this niche group to strategize on ways to conquer your biggest marketing challenges.

Non-profit Marketing
30,914 members. If you’re a nonprofit marketer, this is the largest and most active nonprofit marketing group on LinkedIn.

Sales/Marketing Executives (CSO/CMO)
134,206 members. This group is a prime one to join if you want to get inspired by super-smart leaders)

SEO SEM Social Media
77,801 members. Join this group if you’re interested in participating in or listening to some of the most controversial topics on the web.

Creative Design Pros
152,059 members. Get new ideas from experienced designers sharing graphic design tips and best practices. You’ll also learn more about how to approach a good relationship with your agency or in-house design team.

Business Development
148,815 members. Like minded professionals in sales, busienss development, marketing, demand generation and inside sales functions who are all primarily in tech companies. A great spot to learn how to successfully turn those contacts into customers.